Pfizer has sent an application to the FDA for emergency use authorization of its updated COVID-19 booster vaccine for the fall, the company announced Monday.

The vaccine, which is adapted for the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, would be meant for ages 12 and older. If authorized by the FDA, the doses could ship as soon as destilasi.

“Having rapidly scaled up production, we are positioned to immediately begin distribution of the bivalent Omicron BA.4/BA.5 boosters, if authorized, to help protect individuals and families as we prepare for potential fall and winter surges,” Albert Bourla, PhD, Pfizer’s chairman and CEO, said in the statement.

Earlier this year, the FDA ordered vaccine makers such as Pfizer and Moderna to update their shots to target BA.4 and BA.5, which are better at escaping immunity from earlier vaccines and previous infections.

The U.S. has a contract to buy 105 million of the Pfizer doses and 66 million of the Moderna doses, according to The Associated Press. Moderna is expected to file its FDA application soon as well.

The new shots target both the original spike protein on the coronavirus and the spike mutations carried by BA.4 and BA.5. For now, BA.5 is causing 89% of new infections in the U.S., followed by BA.4.6 with 6.3% and BA.4 with 4.3%, according to the latest CDC data.

There’s no way to tell if BA.5 will still be the dominant strain this winter or if new variant will replace it, the AP reported. But public health officials have supported the updated boosters as a way to target the most recent strains and increase immunity again.

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